by Joshua Shibata
High Impact (Andy Van Dam and the Prodigy): The boys of High Impact discuss about how they started, their working relationship, an incident where they wrestled in a backyard fed, Rob Van Dam and who is hotter Ginger or Mary Ann?
JS: Alright I got with me the members of High Impact, Prodigy and Andy Van Dam. Let’s start the show gentlemen. Alright what got you guys into pro wrestling?
Andy Van Dam: Ah… I think it was watching it on TV that did it for me. Seen it on TV and realized it was a fun sport, it was interesting. So I just pursued it and looked further into it. And me and Rob built a ring and started wrestling, and he went far into it and I just followed his footsteps and that’s how I got to where I am today.
JS: And Prodigy?
Prodigy: I went to a wrestling pay per view and uh… it was Wrestle Mania XII at the Pond, and what really brought me into it was Shawn Michaels winning the World Title. Shawn Michaels, from that day forward was my favorite wrestler and I told myself, I vowed I would follow his footsteps and do the best that I could to become a professional wrestler. I loved him that much. I’ve been wrestling for three years, since I was about fourteen, and I have just loved this so much.
JS: Yea lets talk about age, both of you are very young, Prodigy you’re almost eight-teen while Andy your nineteen.
AVD: Well you have to start out young and work your way up. People who are just now turning thirty are just now getting into a federation and starting to become a professional. Right now we’re in the middle, and we’re wrestling for a fed where we can easily jump to the next level of our career.
P: Right, we’re wrestling for one of the best promotions in so-cal, you know, the elite. And I am very proud to be wrestling for the feds that I am, and I’m very proud to be here. It should be fun I really like working Logan X’s shows. And it should be a lot of fun.
JS: Cool. How did you guys meet? And when you started to team up, were there any problems?
P: You can handle this one.
AVD: Thanks. We went to a practice, and they go, ‘Hey Andy we got you a new tag team partner, he looks just like you’. And I was going, ‘Whatever, nobody looks like me’. And then like five other people came up to me and said the same thing. Finally we met and we looked each other and I was thinking, ‘Alright I guess we do resemble each other’. We got into the ring and we got the same style of wrestling, the same motivation, the attitude was the same. And we hit it off ever since.
P: Yea the point is, when we started hanging out and doing more shows and more shows, we found out just how alike we are. We look like brothers, we act like brothers, and we are so much alike. We are like twins…
AVD: From different parents.
JS: Separated at birth.
P: Yea we may have had different parents but we are so much alike. It’s unreal.
AVD: The best thing is, is that we have become one of the best tag teams, not to be conceded, but we are one of the best tag teams around. The crowd gets into it, we got great spots, we can definitely push High Impact a long way from where it is now.
JS: Great. Now it’s true that wrestling is no longer the land of the giants, with superstars that are under six feet like Jericho and Benoit being over as hell. Yet, in both of your guy’s experiences, is it tough wrestling when your under six feet?
AVD: Take a six foot five to a five foot five guy and see the quickness and agility and your going to notice that the smaller guy has a lot more quickness. He may not be as strong as the bigger guy but if you keep up, you’re definitely not going to look like a runt.
P: I think it’s a hard thing to compete with because when your wrestling in front of the WWF guys, of course there going to look at the size. And that’s something that knocks you down, and to me, I don’t know about Andy, but it just makes me want to work even harder.
(Andy gives Prodigy a shocked look.)
P: Andy feels the same way. It makes us work so much harder. As much as they are not looking at us, we work so much harder just for them to notice us.
JS: So it’s always a hundred percent.
P: Yea no matter who we’re wrestling against, it’s always a hundred percent, sometimes hundred and ten percent.
AVD: We’re always there to impress, make people want to see us and enjoy our show. If they didn’t enjoy the wrestling match then we didn’t do our job properly.
JS: So how was it like working in front of the big league guys from the WWF?
AVD: I get an adrenaline rush from it. You are more into it then anything else. When you get out there you are serious. The last thing you want to do is mess up; you want to hit your spot right where it is. And when you go out there, the first move your just relaxed and just hope you get a good response.
P: It’s funny the more and more we wrestle in front of them, the less and less I get worried or nervous in front of them. There is always a nervousness, like tonight I’ll wrestle and be nervous at the gate, but once I pass that curtain I’ll be ready to rock and roll. But, it will always be there somewhere, my nervous in front of the WWF. But more and more it comes to certain point where it doesn’t bother me anymore.
JS: Your becoming comfortable.
P: Right, right. We can go out and have a good match now and be comfortable. And you want to impress them as much as you can but you want to impress them without messing
JS: Alright the next question is geared towards Andy, (to Prodigy) sorry man.
P: That’s ok.
JS: Andy, your brother Mr. PPV Rob Van Dam is considered one of the best wrestlers in America. Sadly, many people don’t even know that Rob even has a brother, how does it feel living in what many may say ‘the shadow’ of your brother?
(At this point Logan X moves us to a better interview area…the kitchen)
AVD: I wrestle in Rob’s shadow but you know he let me use his name and that’s an honor because he’s my hero, my idol. Someone I look up to.
(“Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce walks in during this interview and gets some water.)
Pearce: Oh stop talking about me like that.
AVD: Well your right here, I had to. It’s an honor, nothing I’m ashamed of. He’s helped me through in and out. He still helps me, every time he watches me and it’s an honor. A lot of actors walk in the shadow of their fathers or brothers. It’s an honor just to be able to use his name.
JS: Is there a lot of pressure?
AVD: Yea a lot of pressure to him because I want to impress him just like anyone else. He’s the reason I’m a part of this. He’s the reason why I wrestled. So thank you.
JS: You guys are both very young with your futures ahead of you. Where do you see you guys five years from now?
P: WCW or WWF.
P: There is no doubt in my mind, I see myself in WWF or WCW. ECW if it comes back alive. Major promotion out there I see myself in it. If there is a major promotion like WWF or WCW, Hulk Hogan is supposed to start his own promotion, if he starts that promotion, I’ll be there.
AVD: We don’t come to these shows, because they need extra workers. We come to them because they want good talent. And good talent goes a long way.
P: We come here, to learn and to be the best we can be and get our name out there in the wrestling world. When I turn eighteen I’m going to try to get me and Andy booked out in Florida. We already got Florida booked for us. Florida, a lot of the east coast area, just to get our name out there. And sooner or later, hopefully Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico.
AVD: We’re definitely paying our dues. A lot of people think that to get into wrestling, you just get into the ring and wrestle. But you got to pay your dues, and we’re still paying our dues. We traveled two hours for ten bucks, it’s not the money, and it’s the exposure, the experience. If we get two to three fans from here that never met us before than that’s just added to our collection.
P: What we’re collecting them now? What the hell?
AVD: Well you know….
JS: Ok, in the media especially the news boards. There has been a lot brought up about backyard wrestling. What are your thoughts on it?
P: This is a question that always hits us. And I feel it’s something that shouldn’t be done. It’s very dangerous and if kids want to, they want to be professional wrestlers, let them know now that they won’t make it. I’ve heard many WWF wrestlers tell me that backyarders aren’t going to make it. Bruce Prichard himself has told us that they get backyard tapes every single day, and if they know its backyard they won’t even watch it. They’ll throw them away or send them back; they’re not going to make it. You want to make it in this wrestling world, come to a school and get trained. Doesn’t matter where the school is, go to it and get trained. That’s the best advice I can give anyone.
AVD: Backyard wrestling is all spots. Pro wrestling isn’t about going in there doing a front flip or back flip, nobody cares, they’re not impressed. They’re impressed about a story being told that the crowd can follow. If your just doing spots and the crowd can’t follow…we learned that. We didn’t know about psychology, we were going into that thinking spots was cool and realizing that this ain’t wrestling.
P: Yea we got the crowd into it and they were going, ‘oh nice move, nice move’. But the storyline we wanted to tell, where we got the crowd on the edge of the seat, and going crazy wasn’t there.
AVD: We were once booked for a backyard fed that said they weren’t one. But they paid us so we wrestled. We had a match with some other guys and me and him (Prodigy) told every single wrestler there, this is what needs to be done certain time limits. But everyone went out and did spots and nobody even cared.
P: And the thing is, we tried to help them, even though we were in such a tight position to even be at that show. We were told that it was going to be an independent show, they paid us a couple of weeks in advance and we showed up, it was total chaos. There were little kids everywhere, kids doing backflips and shooting stars outside of the ring and it was really, really dangerous. I watched every single match before mine and I did not see one bit of psychology, I did not see one thing that resembled professional wrestling. And it’s more dangerous now because they are using chairs, light bulbs. And I mean people like to see that, but in my own way, too much….
AVD: Backyard wrestling put its name on the mat, but in the wrong way.
P: Exactly. And most people need to realize that. Independent wrestling is the thing to watch. If independent was as big as backyard wrestling was, man we would have no problem. But we are also doing it the right way and not the wrong way.
JS: Alright what do you guys do when you’re away from the ring?
AVD: Gym and surf.
P: Me uh, I go to school so I have to do that. I don’t like it but I do. I lift weights a lot. Watch TV; watch a lot of TV.
JS: Favorite show?
P: Gilligan’s Island. That will always be a classic.
JS: Then that leads to the next question, Ginger or Mary Ann?
AVD: I would do Ginger.
P: ohhh. You know what that’s very hard because you know Mary Ann is nice and small… well we won’t get into that. But she’s sexy, and so is Ginger so I would say both of them.
JS: Smart man.
AVD: What about Mrs. Howell? She’s got an ass.
P: Yea she’s one sexy broad.
AVD: Yea don’t care if she’s ninety or whatever.
JS: Alright, a match between the two of you, who would win?
P: Uh a real match or professional? Well we already had that and I won.
JS: You won?
P: Yea because I’m the better man.
JS: You think one day down the line, you’ll return the favor to Andy?
P: Of course, of course. You know what, we’re a team, and if I had to lose to him every night, I don’t care. Same with him. We’re a team; we’re here to make each other
AVD: And it’s not like we can’t hold our own in the ring.
P: We respect each other, it’s not a competition. We make it a learning experience; we don’t make it a competition, thinking we’re better than every one else. We do it to learn from each other. Not to… we don’t feed the fire to our ego, we definitely don’t want an ego in this business. It’s something that will really mess you up. So we really respect each other you know. If one of us was to pin the other and I won, I won. Next week I would return the favor.
AVD: We would make it an awesome match, so don’t worry about it.
JS: All right last question, if you could wrestle anybody who would it be?
AVD: Right now?
JS: Anybody, form the history of professional wrestling.
AVD: If a tag match, it would be like the Hardyz, because our spots are incredible. For a single I would wrestle…
P: Rob Van Dam
JS: That would be interesting.
AVD: I would wrestle Rob Van Dam, if I could learn from anybody it would be him.
P: Definitely in a singles match I would want to wrestle the ‘Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels, because he would teach me so much in that ring. It would be such an honor to step into the same ring as him. Also a tag match, the Hardyz are good but I would stick with some of the old timers like the Hart Foundation and the Rockers. They’re old time psychology and how to work a crowd.
JS: Like the British Bulldogs and the Brain Busters.
P: It’s so much better than it is today, because everyone watches now so everyone knows whom to get behind. Back then they actually had to wrestle their asses off to get the fans to support them.
(Frankie Kazarian walks in from the dressing room)
AVD: I would wrestle Frankie Kazarian and Super Nova in a tag team match.
P: I don’t like that Frankie Kazarian guy, he’s an asshole.
JS: Hey Frankie, I’ll get you next?
Frankie: Yea sure, I’m just waiting for Prodigy to shut up.
JS: Well that would be it, you guys have a match with the Los Cubaintos. Good luck with that.
High Impact: Thank you, sir.